Listening to the Future: The Time of Progressive Rock, 1968-1978

Listening to the Future: The Time of Progressive Rock, 1968-1978

by Bill Martin Jr.
     
 

In the early seventies, King Crimson, Yes, Jethro Tull, Emerson, Lake and Palmer, and many others brought forth a series of adventurous and visionary works, often of epic length. Responding both to the new possibilities in rock music opened up by "Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band", as well as to the countercultural politics and aesthetics of the late

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Overview

In the early seventies, King Crimson, Yes, Jethro Tull, Emerson, Lake and Palmer, and many others brought forth a series of adventurous and visionary works, often of epic length. Responding both to the new possibilities in rock music opened up by "Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band", as well as to the countercultural politics and aesthetics of the late sixties, these musicians applied consummate instrumental and compositional skill to transgressing boundaries. Since the late seventies, histories of rock music have either ignored or marginalized the progressive rock era. In part, this has occurred because rock music criticism has taken an almost completely sociological turn, with little or no interest in musical form itself. In "Listening to the Future", Bill Martin argues that it is a musical and political mistake to ignore this period of tremendous creativity, a period which still finds resonance in rock music today. He sets the scene for the emergence of progressive rock (showing that, in fact, there has always been a progressive trend in rock music, a trend that took a quantum leap in the late sixties), and develops a terminology for understanding how an avant-garde could arise out of the sonic and social materials of

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Martin (Music of Yes, LJ 11/15/96) argues convincingly that the progressive rock movement of the early 1970s, whose pillars are the bands King Crimson and Yes, deserves consideration as important avant-garde art. While the first three chapters offer an academic, philosophical, and sociological analysis of the genre, casual fans will appreciate Chapter 4: a lengthy annotated discography of important progressive rock albums. Unfortunately, Martin's biases sometimes undercut his thoughtful arguments. He dismisses with contempt valid criticism of "prog rock" from the mainstream rock press, for example, and he fails to recognize the influence progressive rock had on the onstage excesses of 1980s "arena rock" he considers "awful." Still, Martin's book nicely complements two other recent works on the genre, musicologist Edward Macan's Rocking the Classics (LJ 10/15/96) and Paul Stump's The Music's All That Matters: A History of Progressive Rock (Quartet, 1997). Recommended for most popular music collections.Lloyd Jansen, Stockton-San Joaquin Cty. P.L., Cal.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780812693683
Publisher:
Open Court Publishing Company
Publication date:
12/30/1998
Series:
Feedback Series
Pages:
256
Sales rank:
1,017,456
Product dimensions:
6.04(w) x 9.20(h) x 0.91(d)

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